Winfield's hurt neck poses more defensive dilemmas

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 6, 2011 - 11:07 PM

The Vikings are left to plan for Arizona this Sunday with the thought that their 13-year veteran will not be healthy enough to play.

hide

Vikings cornerback Antoine Winfield (right)

Photo: Michael Perez, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Attention Vikings cornerbacks Chris Cook and Asher Allen: Your responsibilities for Sunday's game with Arizona could heighten significantly.

On Thursday at Winter Park, 13th-year veteran Antoine Winfield missed practice for the second consecutive day, sidelined because of neck stiffness.

Winfield hurt his neck making a tackle in Sunday's game at Kansas City. And there's growing doubt within the organization that he will be healthy enough to play this weekend, especially with the team not wanting to be overaggressive with neck injuries.

Winfield underwent an MRI on his neck Monday, a test that came back negative. "But there is something there creating that stiffness in his neck," head coach Leslie Frazier said after Thursday's practice. "And any time you deal with a neck injury, you're very cautious. He's doing a little bit better. We'll just have to see how he feels [Friday]."

Frazier said the Vikings would evaluate Winfield's recovery on Friday afternoon and see if he could participate in at least some drills. If not, he would likely be stamped with a game-time-decision tag.

If Winfield were unable to play on Sunday, Cook would start at cornerback opposite Cedric Griffin. And Allen would take on a greater role in nickel packages.

Winfield's absence would alter the Vikings' blitz strategy with their standout corner unable to deliver the disruption from the outside that he's become so well-known for.

"That's what Antoine does," defensive coordinator Fred Pagac said. "I have known Antoine for a long time and since high school I have known him to make plays like that. He is not very big, but he is physical. And has great quickness and great football awareness."

Added Frazier: "Antoine's certainly a hard guy to replace. He does so many things for us. Even the play he got injured on, he was making a tackle that a lot of guys in the secondary wouldn't be able to make in our league."

For now, the Vikings are left to plan for Arizona with the thought that Winfield will not be ready to play.

Said Frazier: "Until he feels comfortable enough to say, 'You know what, I'm ready to get out there and try,' nobody is going to urge him to do anything other than what he thinks he's capable of doing."

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas 5 Bottom 5th Inning
Miami 2
Seattle 1 Top 4th Inning
Philadelphia 1
Toronto 0 Top 1st Inning
Milwaukee 0
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler 2:35 PM
Oakland - J. Samardzija
Atlanta - A. Wood 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - G. Cole
Houston - S. Feldman 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - M. Pineda
Arizona - T. Cahill 6:05 PM
Washington - T. Roark
LA Angels - G. Richards 6:10 PM
Boston - C. Buchholz
Detroit - R. Porcello 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cincinnati - J. Cueto 6:15 PM
St. Louis - L. Lynn
San Francisco - J. Peavy 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - E. Jackson
Baltimore - W. Chen 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Cleveland - T. House 7:10 PM
Minnesota - R. Nolasco
Kansas City - D. Duffy 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. De La Rosa
San Diego - E. Stults 9:10 PM
Los Angeles - R. Hernandez
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Los Angeles 8:00 PM
Colorado
San Jose 9:00 PM
Seattle
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pm
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pm
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close